Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar sacked over anti-Islam tweet

Brunilde Fioravanti
Giugno 14, 2018

His comment was a reply to Priyanka Chopra's tweet and soon afterwards he was condemned for slurs of racism, bigotry and Islamophobia.

The comments were made after a recent Priyanka Chopra starrer action series depicted a terrorist plot hatched by a group of Hindu extremists, provoking outrage in India.

His tweet read, "It's sad to see that you have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorised by Islam over 2000 years".

Kochhar became the second Indian chef to receive a Michelin star when it was awarded to his London restaurant, Benares, in 2007. "With the termination of our agreement, Chef Atul will no longer be associated with the restaurant", Bill Keffer, the general manager of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel was quoted saying by Gulf News.

"I have great respect for JW Marriott and in particular their staff in Dubai and wish the hotel well for the future".

He apologised again on Wednesday after a flood of outraged on social media including threats to boycott his Dubai restaurant and the JW Marriott Marquis hotel that houses it. "We also remain committed to delivering the traditional culinary experience and high service standards that Rang Mahal is renowned for", he added.

Mr Kochhar, in another apology tweet made in wee hours today, wrote: This could neither salvage the situation and nor did it calm Twitter users down.

He issued an apology on Twitter that read: "There is no justification for my tweet, a major error made in the heat of the moment on Sunday". Many also criticised him for working in a Muslim country while spreading negative messages about Islam. I fully recognize my inaccuracies that Islam was founded around 1,400 years ago and I sincerely apologise. "We would like to stress that we do not share the same views as stated in the remark, nor is it a representation of the culture of diversity and inclusion that we pride ourselves on at the hotel", the hotel tweeted on Monday.

Arab journalist Khalid Ameena later tweeted: "You (Kochhar) have offended me.As a person who loves India its people no matter what their caste or creed".

Social media users called for a boycott of Kochhar's restaurants in the UAE and the United Kingdom and restaurant finder app Halal Gems said it was dropping eateries affiliated to the chef from its listings.

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